This is awesome - a Kenyan initiative that uses maps mash-up to allow users on the ground to pin-point trouble and create crisis maps - whether violence, damage, hurricanes, terrorists, snow...
Crowd-sourcing your on-the-ground surveillance simultaneously over a huge area using a many-to-many network with volunteers inputting text messages it's a lo-fi hi-tech solution to an eternal problem of how to know what's going on where amidst the fog of war, or just heavy snow.
Good NYT article:
Ushahidi suggests a new paradigm in humanitarian work. The old paradigm was one-to-many: foreign journalists and aid workers jet in, report on a calamity and dispense aid with whatever data they have. The new paradigm is many-to-many-to-many: victims supply on-the-ground data; a self-organizing mob of global volunteers translates text messages and helps to orchestrate relief; journalists and aid workers use the data to target the response.